ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Egyptian billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris said on Tuesday he sees opportunities for mining, telecoms and hotels in North Korea if a summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump later this month is successful.
Sawiris, whose telecoms business operates the Koryolink mobile phone network in North Korea in a joint venture, said the impoverished country needed investments across the board from hotels to roads to modern methods of agriculture.
"I am looking forward in other areas such as mining, tourism, agriculture, agro-industries. But mining is amazing - they have so many resources and they don't have the money to spend on exploration."
A State Department spokesman said last week that topics for the summit include complete denuclearization, transformation of U.S.-North Korea relations and building a lasting peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.
"I am very upbeat on the (Trump) meeting because I think we might really achieve peace in that meeting. I think the North Koreans - all that they want - is recognition, respect, dialogue and they are getting it now."
He said mobile phone penetration in North Korea was around 15 percent of the population or some three million people and market growth was limited because of expensive handsets that needed to be paid for in foreign currency.
This came after the U.N. Security Council tightened sanctions making it illegal for foreign companies to form commercial joint ventures with North Korean entities.
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall, Editing by William Maclean)
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